Interracial Relationships: The Good, the Bad and the Problematic

Adult ISH podcast hosts Nyge and Dom are joined by fellow YR Media producer Shaylyn Martos. Together they discuss the expectations and reality of dating outside your race.

Interracial Relationships: The Good, the Bad and the Problematic

In this episode of YR’s Adult ISH podcast, co-hosts Nyge Turner and Dominique French sit down to discuss the often avoided topic of interracial relationships. With the help of fellow YR Media producer Shaylyn Martos, they delve into partnerships past and present to uncover hard truths and unlikely experiences.

Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. Be sure to follow all our socials @yrAdultISH!

Episode Transcript

(Ring sound)

Nyge: One, two, three, four. 

Dom: Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia. PRX I am Nyge Turner and — anyways… (Dom and Nyge laugh)


Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX. I’m Nyge Turner.

Dom: And I’m Dominique French. 

Nyge: And today, I really wanted to get into the topic of interracial relationships. Dom, we’ve talked a little bit about interracial relationships before. Uh, you got a little experience there, right? 

Dom: How dare you out me in this way?? (Laughs) In front of God and everybody. (Laughs) 

Nyge: It’s good, though. It’s good, though. I have, I have a lot of experience too. Like growing up, I was in a few interracial relationships myself. Before you started dating though, did you have any fear or hesitation as far as like dating outside of your race? 

Dom: Not at all. I should have probably had more fear. I … I was one of very few Black kids, and I was extremely tall, like 5’6” at around age 10. So I probably should have reined it in. I was probably scaring a lot of little white boys in my tiny elementary school. How about you?

Nyge: Uh, I never really even thought about it. Like, my brain didn’t process that I would have to have certain conversations or that we would have to educate each other on our backgrounds. I really wish that I had given, you know, some thought to those conversations beforehand because I probably would have been more understanding and less defensive when, when it came to my own race. And I would just have something to say if I was prepared for those conversations.

Dom: Yeah, but no one teaches you how to date properly. When you’re dating someone outside of your race, there’s always a learning curve, especially if you grew up differently. But those cultural differences on top of the pre-existing learning curve of dating anyone, really, requires education and understanding on both parts. 

Nyge: Yeah. You saying that just reminded me of my parents, uh, actually trying to teach me how to, uh, eat properly on a date because I used to always lick my plate clean at the end. And they were like, that’s a no no when you go on dates.

Dom: Only when you go on dates though, you save it for at home when you’re with family. (Laughs) 

Nyge: Right. But, nah, the point, the point that you made was good, though. I really — I really identify with that. And that is exactly why I wanted to get into this topic today. First, let’s talk to a good friend and coworker, Shaylyn Martos, about all of this. And let’s get a little more perspective. 

Dom: As an associate producer for YR Media’s newsroom, Shaylyn manages and mentors interns and works to provide better representation for LGBTQ+ and Indigenous people in media. As a friend of the pod and a person in an interracial relationship, we knew Shaylyn would have lots of insight to share on this topic. They are a Chamorro and Filipinx journalist and their partner is also a journalist and also mixed. He is Nicaraguan and Irish. 

Shaylyn: My partner’s name is Paul. Paul C. Kelly Campos. He is mixed like me. He is a white cis heterosexual man, which for me was kind of surprising when we got together. I definitely told myself like, “Oh, that’s not what I want.” And then you meet somebody who, like, understands you on different ways. So, yeah, we, we recently celebrated two years of us knowing each other. We met on our school newspaper at SF State, and then we volunteered a lot together once the pandemic hit. And, and yeah, so it’s been really, really nice so far. Definitely the healthiest and most, like, communicative, like, partnership I’ve ever had in my life. So that’s good.

Dom: Oh, my gosh. Congrats on having a healthy relationship. (Laughs) What that like? (Laughs) I’ll say I’m coming to, like, this conversation as, uh, also a mixed person, so I feel like one of my, like, greatest experiences being around an interracial relationship is just like growing up with one white parent and one Black parent in the United States, uh, and what that was like. And then, after like my parents split up when I was very, very young, my stepfather is also Black and my mom is, you know, still white. So, like, having that continued experience has been … weird. (Laughs) Like bad at times, but also, like all I’ve ever known. What about you, Nyge? 

Nyge: I don’t know. Like I’ve been in a lot of, uh, like, interracial relationships growing up. So many that like, I would even get like from my own community all the time. “Like, you don’t like Black people?” or things like that or whatever. (Dom: Yeah.) Which is I mean, which is fair because —

Dom: Shaylyn’s eyes just got wide. (Laughs) 

Nyge: Well, my wife is Black, but… I guess I’ll start with that. But, I mean, there’s a lot of people who only stick to interracial relationships because of like, you know, weird feelings that they have about their own communities. And so, like, I get the — I get the, like, the take. But yeah, nah, like I was in a lot of interracial relationships like growing up and yeah, I mean, some of them were really cool, some of them were really bad. 

So I was dating this girl for probably about, like, probably like a month or two. And she was always make comments about my skin. And it was over and over just comments about like my skin, and how much she loved my skin and stuff like that. And I’m like, “Okay. Like, that’s cool.” Because it started off as like, kind of like a compliment, but then it was like in public, like we’re kicking it with her friends and stuff. Also, this girl’s not Black. And then she’s just like, you know, “Like look at his skin!” And then I’m like, all right, now, now that I’m like, I don’t know, my skin is kind of being like, shown off or whatever, it feels kind of like fetishy. And then, like, this is like a super, like, ”Get Out” type of experience. It was like one time where I had asked for some like, some lotion or whatever, and she was like, “Okay, like, nah. I’ll like put it on, like, your arm.” Or like, it’s like she’s putting lotion on my arm. I just don’t like, the way that she was like looking at my skin, and I was like, “Ah, I don’t know. I feel like you might take it at this point.” And so like, at this point I’m about to leave.. 

Dom: Did you feel like Hansel and Gretel being fattened up a little bit??

Nyge: That’s exactly what I’m saying. Like, it was, it was very strange and so I was like — that was just when it got, it just got creepy to me. And so I was like, let me get out of this, uh, situation. And then I didn’t talk to her for like, dumb long. And then I broke up with her, like, over text, which sucks, but — sorry. 

Dom: How old were you at the time? 

Nyge: This was my junior year of high school. 

Dom: So did you even have the language of, like, like fetish and, like….

Nyge: Nah. It just felt wrong. (Dom: Yeah.) It just felt wrong. (Dom: Damn) 

Shaylyn: Yeah, I can definitely hear you on the fetishizing. I think that was like, even before I started dating, that was like something that was just kind of thrown at me, especially as people — people can’t really tell looking at me, that’s something that my siblings and I kind of talk about sometimes. They make guesses and if you know, you know. You know? So… (Dom: Oh, yeah.) Yeah. So, I think, like with Asian folks, especially Southeast Asian folks, they like ask you if you’re — if you’re this, that or the other. But like, definitely in high school and stuff. I didn’t really start dating until later on, like when I was 18 or so. (Dom: Yeah, me too.) And yeah. So whenever I would approach someone or someone would approach me and try to like flirt and stuff, it would always come up. 

Nyge: Nah, that’s really scary. And like you’re going into a point that me and Dom were talking about earlier too when it comes to like some interracial couples. Like the fact that they are an interracial couple like becomes the identity. Especially of like relationships where it’s like a white person and then somebody who isn’t white. So on Sunday I went to a 9er game and we’re like sitting in front of this couple and as soon as I get to the seat like she’s, you know, a white lady and she is, you know, with a Black man. And he was just like he just said something to me, like related to football. I said something back. It was cool. Perfect interaction. And then she was like, “I’m just so glad, like, y’all pulled up to your seats because I was going to pull the typical white girl and take y’all seats. I might not be a Karen, but I’m a Brenda.” And I was like, all right. You know, like, that was just strange. Like, race didn’t have to be a thing. It was like, she was, like, acknowledging it. She was like, “Yo, like, I’m white.” And I was like, “We know.” (Dom laughs) So then, like, as we’re sitting there watching the game, like, just everything that kind of related to, like, white people or Black people, she was just like, felt like she had to jump on it. And I was just like, that’s just like, so strange sometimes. Whenever, like, you know, somebody feels like they have to, like, point out that they’re in a interracial relationship and it has to be kind of like a personality type? I don’t know. Some people just take it and, like, really run with it. 

Shaylyn: Well, there’s people who have, like, whole social accounts that’s just like “swirl,” you know?

Dom: That is such a good point! Or like interracial families who have, like, family channels that are like, look at our brown babies that are slightly lighter than, like my brown partner. Oh, I have so many feelings about that because, like, my mom is like my main parent. Like, she was the one who like was like mostly there when I was growing up. And my mom is a white woman who only dates Black men. Just going to let that set in for a second. (Laughs)

So when I was little, like, really little, I thought that couples were supposed to look different from each other. I thought that that’s like what made a couple is like two people who, like, look different, like, get together and like have a kid that like looks slightly different from both of them. And then that got, like, complicated with like so many things. And to this day, I’m a person who predominantly dates outside of my race, and that’s something that I talk about in therapy constantly, is like trying to unpack that and deal with that and like figure out what that’s about. And I never talk about this because it’s like, it’s something I’m so embarrassed about. I’m not trying to have a swirl account! (Laughs) It’s not my journey in life. It’s also … like something that I’m participating in, and it’s just it’s all so, so complicated for me. 

Shaylyn: I hear, I hear you on that. Like growing up in a culture where a young brown woman with a white man is the ideal. Dating a white man and having dated white men in my past is something that, yeah, I do get, like, embarrassed about. Like, yeah, I’m kind of adding into it as well. Which is why like two years ago I was like, I’m never dating another white person. I’m never dating another man. I’m a lesbian. Like, all this stuff. Yeah, totally the vibes are there, but like, these things change. These things change. So, um, it’s a lot. Right? Because you look at your families and like the aunties who have their white husbands who don’t always treat them great, but they say that they wanted white husbands because they didn’t drink or they didn’t, you know, cheat or, you know, they wouldn’t do these things that people like us would do in their eyes or like. So I feel that. And it’s like you try to check yourself, but it’s so deep in there that all the therapy you could get, you still are going to, like, fall into those habits a lot of the time. And I think, like when it came to me and Paul, we’re — we talk about things not constantly, but consistently. You feel me? (Dom: Yeah, yeah.) Like if something comes up and we’re like, “Oh, this is a little weird, let’s talk this out.” Um, but yeah, that was something that I really had to work on myself for quite a while is like kind of blaming myself for even being attracted to him and um, yeah, even if he was super supportive, I could constantly be telling myself, “Well, that’s not going to last. That’s not going to last.” Like… 

Dom: It’s really interesting how we carry these really big societal things and then end up blaming ourselves for them. (Shaylyn: Mhm.) As like an individual who’s affected by it. 

Nyge: That’s what I was going to say. Like it sounds like it’s more like society’s issue than your issue, but the fact that y’all are acknowledging it and then like Dom you talked about like going to therapy about it. Shaylyn, you talked about trying to like break that bias that you might have been like raised with. I think that’s like the point. And if y’all weren’t doing those things, then that would be like strange. But like, y’all are actively working against those things that society puts on you. Or like, just like being a human. (Dom: Yeah) I think you should only be embarrassed about it if you’re not actively trying to, like, you know, learn and work. 

Shaylyn: Thank you, Nyge. 

Dom: Yeah. Thanks, Nyge! 

Shaylyn: Thank you for that. (All laugh) 


Dom: So do we want to get into our little game that we have, Nyge? (Laughs) 

Nyge: Yeah! (Laughs)

Shaylyn: Oh, nice. Is this something you can win?? Is this a game you win? 

Dom: It’s…. We’re all losers here. (Laughs) 

Nyge: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a … I don’t think there’s a winner. (Laughs) Are you competitive? Are you a competitive person?

Shaylyn: Too much so. 

Dom: Oh, yeah. No, there are no points. No one’s keeping score kind of thing. It’s called “Red flag. Green flag.” And we’re going to go down a list of things that stereotypically may arise in an interracial relationship. And whether or not that thing is a red flag or a green flag. And it’s all based on you, your personal preferences and your lived experiences. Are you ready, Shaylyn? (Laughs) 

Shaylyn: I’m ready. I’m ready — this sounds great. 

Nyge: For sure.

Dom: Okay, so the person you’re dating is really into your culture. Red flag or green flag? 

Shaylyn: Red flag for me. I did have to talk to Paul about this, um, because he got really like when we started talking about it, he’s actually dated Chamorros before. Oh, I’m Chamorro, by the way, everybody. Sorry, I’m Indigenous, from Guam, and Filipino. 

So when he found out that I was, he would like watch documentaries and stuff. And I was like, “Okay, good. That’s great. Like, thank you so much for being interested, but I don’t want you to tell me what you have researched about me.” You feel me? Like, let me come to that conclusion on my own. And he was like, “Bet.” So… 

Dom: So that’s good. 

Shaylyn: That was like, I don’t know. If you, if you go by like, the green, yellow, red thing. (Dom: Um hm.) That was a yellow. 

Nyge: Yeah. Nah, I was gonna say the same thing. I was gonna say like yellow flag. Because, I want you to be into it because, like, I’m into my culture and I like reading, watching, trying to like, learn stuff like about myself and about, like, my culture. And especially like being African American, so much of my culture is like, hidden and erased, and it’s so difficult to, like, find stuff out. And so I feel like my whole life is like a learning experience. (Dom: Oh yeah.) And so like if you’re like learning at the same time or whatever, like that’s what’s up. But yeah, sometimes like, you know, people have gotten like upset with me in the past. Like, I remember in high school, this girl, like, got upset with me for, you know, not going to a protest or whatever. And it’s just like, I think at the end of the day, like, it’s my choice. Like, I feel it. Like, you know, you watch one documentary, like you’re pumped up, you’re ready. (Dom: Yeah.) And I feel that. And I think that that’s good. But it’s just like, at that moment I wasn’t in a place where I was like, “Yeah, I’m trying to hit this particular protest,” or whatever. So I’d say, it’s like a yellow flag. 

Dom: For me, Hard red flag. Hard red flag. That looks green when it’s on the horizon in the distance. But like, the closer you get to it, the more you’re like: errr! Because I feel like what you said Nyge is just so true about so much of like the Black American experience being hidden, but also on the other side of that coin, so much of it is popular American culture as well. And so I feel like there is just some sticky wickiness in there that I’m like, I get it. Like being Black is lit. Everybody… (Laughs) You know what I mean? But that’s. 

Nyge: Nah, I feel that on such a deep level. 

Dom: Yeah. Like, it’s like I don’t want to hear about how much you love whatever rap artist you are, like into at the moment and how they’ve really opened your eyes to the Black experience. Close your eyes. Walk the other direction. (Laughs) 

Nyge: Yeah. It’s like it’s cool that you know all the words to “International Players Anthem,” But like at the same time, it’s like, you know, verse three, it’s like, alright. (Laughs) You know all that?? 

Dom: Okay, interesting. 

Nyge: It was cool at first. 

Shaylyn: I just think that’s so funny. For the two of you, it’s like someone’s getting into your culture. That’s, that’s like all the Black folks in the world, right? And then kind of lumping them all together for you. It made me think about how, how personally, if someone is coming to me talking about like being Pacific Islander or being Asian, it is the tiniest little thing. Like what you said, Nyge, about like, oh, you know this whole verse or, you know this whole song. I get it. For us, it’s like, oh, like my, my coworker’s uncle’s, uh, step kids’ wife is Asian. She looks just like you. Maybe you’re related?

Dom: Lol. Damn 

Shaylyn: So it’s like you have to reach so far. Whereas, like, for the both of you, it’s like people don’t have to reach far in order to pretend. 

Nyge: Yeah. Like the related stuff is, is so wild too. Like people meet other people, like, Black people, like with the last name Turner and be like, are y’all related? And it’s like, um… pretty popular slave plantation, yeah. (Dom laughs) It was a pretty, pretty heavily frequented plantation. So, it’s a lot of Turners all around. But like people don’t even go that far back. They are just like Black, Turner, yup. And then like they don’t go back to like, why a lot of us have like, you know, Jackson, Johnson, Turner, like all these last names. It’s easy to kind of like, pretend to be like an ally or whatever, but it’s also kind of like, little like missteps you can make in there where it’s like, “Up — gotcha!” 

Dom: All right. So the next one is: talks about race or racial politics more than average. 

Nyge: Ah, it’s hard. Like I don’t want to give like yellow flags for all of these because for me, I guess right out the gate, what am I feeling? Red flag. As soon as it happens. And then like, you know, maybe we talk about a little more then it might turn a little green. (Dom laughs.) Part of me is like, good, you know, like that you’re, like, educating yourself, like, you realize, like, you know, certain things are wrong. You want certain things to be changed. I think you should want things to change. The only way that things will change is if people who look like you want things to change. And so like, nah, I think that that is like good. But yeah, I don’t know. Immediately it does make me put my guard up.

Shaylyn: That’s what I’m feeling too, Nyge. I would say red flag. I think the caveat is that if you talk about it all the time but you’re doing something about it. (Dom: Mmm.) Green flag. If you’re working like consistently, if that’s your job, if that’s your passion. If you’re just like sitting at the dinner table like talking about the same thing you’ve been talking about for like over and over and over again. And we both know that it needs to get done. 

Nyge: It feels performative. Like if you’re just talking about it all the time at the dinner table, like it just feels performative. Like if you actually feel that way, do something about it. But if, like, you know, it’s just something you like to like rant about because you feel like it kind of like wins you points, then…

Shaylyn: No, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. You know, it can get a verbal abuse if you’re talking about this all the time and you’re kind of forcing this other person to listen to you, like holding them hostage because they’re in a relationship with you, just so you can rant about stuff that you’re not actually doing anything about. You know? 

Nyge: Yeah. And then like because they’re dating you, it’s like I am doing something about it. 

Shaylyn: Oh, my God, yes! Like, I’ve done my duty. 

Nyge: Right. I just have to sit beside you and then continue to rant. 

Dom: And it’s like, no, doing me is not doing your racial duty. (Everyone laughs) It’s very different. I got to throw a wrench in. It’s a little bit of a green flag for me, but it depends on who it’s aimed at. Are we sitting at the dinner table and you’re talking to your other white friends or you’re talking to a problematic uncle? Are you talking to someone that’s benefiting from the system or are you talking at me about it? You know what I mean? Like, I live it, I studied it, I talk about it. Thanks so much. But if you’re like, “Hey, actually, you know what, pal? That’s not okay. And here’s why.” And I don’t have to do that work? I like that. 

Shaylyn: Oh. Yeah. 

Nyge: Yeah, that’s cool. 

Shaylyn: I feel it.

Nyge: I feel like I’ve been in a lot of like trash, interracial relationships, but also I’ve been in like one really like cool one. She was white and Laotian. And if I felt anything about, you know, anything like regarding being Black in America, like, she would just listen and, like, learn. And that’s all you really want. Like, I mean, I’m not saying it, so, like, you could solve it or whatever. And then like when she would talk about stuff, like just try to like copy her and just like, listen and learn. And I’m not going to like try to make it my duty or whatever to, like, change how you feel about anything or whatever. Like, just make it my duty to, like, educate myself. And I think that’s like, that’s what she did, and that’s what made it, like, really cool. 

Dom: All right, so for these next few, we’re going to rapid fire them. It’s instinct. Nyge, you go first, then I’ll go. Then Shaylyn, you go. Are. You. Ready?

Shaylyn: Got it.

Dom: All right. 

Nyge: Let’s do it. 

Dom: Boom, boom, boom, beep. 

Dom: Wants to learn your non-English language.

Nyge: I don’t know. Am I supposed to go first? I don’t have one. So, pass! 

Dom: You’re like. (All Laugh) Also, N/A!

Nyge: Right, this is like, uh, Ebonics? (Laughs) Um, like, what do you…what are you trying to learn?? (Dom laughs)

Dom: Shaylyn, would you like to answer that one? (Laughs)

Shaylyn: Yes, it’s nice. I’m learning my native language. My partner doesn’t take the classes with me. We have that boundary, but I get to say cute things to him. Like [untranslated CHamorru] and stuff like that. And he can say back, It’s cute.

Dom: Adorable! Asks to touch your hair. 

Nyge: Uh, red flag. 

Dom: Red flag. Red flag. 

Shaylyn: Red

Dom: Tries to cook your culture’s food. 

Nyge: Ahh, I don’t know. Are you good? 

Dom: At cooking? (Laughs) 

Nyge: If it’s good…

Dom: Yeah. Let’s say it turned out. It turned out average to okay. (Laughs) 

Nyge: Average, to okay, I might be a little offended. If it smacks though, green flag.

Dom: I’m going to say not into it. Red flag. I don’t like it. 

Shaylyn: Yeah, same. I’m going to say red, because I’d rather we do that together. 

Dom: Oh, that’s good. Okay: wants to do an interracial Halloween couple’s costume.

Nyge: Yeah. Red flag.

Dom: Arrghhh, initial red flag. But if we’re going as Bowie and Iman, I like that. 

Nyge: It has to be tasteful. 

Dom: Laden with taste.

Nyge: Because, like, it could go. That could go south. Quick.

Dom: Yeah.

Nyge: It could literally. It could literally go south. 

Dom: Oh. Oh. 

Shaylyn: Mine’s a green flag. I love costumes. And, like, the characters that are in interracial relationships are likely the ones that I want to dress as too. So it’s like if my boyfriend sends me a picture of Milo and Kida from Atlantis, then, hell yeah, I’m in it. Let’s go. 

Dom: Oh, that’s good. I love that. I love that. All right. This is one Nyge you already answered. So I’m going to go straight to me with this one: Compliments your skin. Ahhh, I’m going to go red flag, uh, because I don’t like when people compliment my skin because it feels like colorism.

Shaylyn: Same.

Nyge: Yeah. I don’t know. It was a green flag at first. (Laughs)

Dom: It’s just that one person. (Laughs) 

Nyge: As it got closer. 

Dom: Put your binoculars on. 

Nyge: That’s red. 

Shaylyn: Oh yeah. I’ve been called caramel too many times, so no thank you. 

Dom: Ooh.

Nyge: Oh, man. 

Dom: That should have been one — being referred to as a food item.

Shaylyn: A food! Yeah. 

Nyge: Yeah. Oh, chocolate. 

Shaylyn: Red flag. 

Dom: Red flag. Red flag. Reddest of flags. 

Shaylyn: Huge red flag. (Dom laughs)

Dom: This is amazing. Thank you so much, Shaylyn, for joining us.

Shaylyn: I did remember something that I wanted to say. It’s actually something that I talked to Paul about when I mentioned that I was going to do this. And like one of the ways that we really like, respect each other is, is where we came from, right? So if your partner is from a different race, but is also kind of like more knowledgeable about your socioeconomic status or like the way that your family moves through the world and stuff like that, then sometimes race can be a factor, but it’s not something that makes or breaks you because this is a person who understands the other aspects of yourself. Because we’re not all just our race. 

So I think that when it comes to, like, the relationship that I’m in and how different it is from like when I dated someone who is also a part Chamorro, right? That person did not understand a lot of the things that were in my life and I could not understand a lot of the things in their life because of those differences outside of race.


Nyge: In addition to their work at YR, Shaylyn Martos co-produces and co-hosts “The Happy Hour Newscast” and serves as a multimedia editor for S.F. State’s Golden Gate Express. If you want to follow Shaylyn’s work, their social handles are @shaylynmartos across all platforms. 

Dom: I definitely during the recording for this episode had that moment of when you say something and you see it reflected back on other people’s faces and they’re like, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know you felt so strongly about that.” (Laughs) Because I, I definitely had moments where I was like, this is like a normal thing to say. And other people were like: damn. And so it made me, like, sort of sit back and think, do I have, like, kind of not controversial, but kind of strong feelings about interracial relationships? Do I have like an overwhelmingly like sort of negative connotation when it comes to myself being in an interracial relationship because of the embarrassment that I feel around dating outside of my race? And I feel like if I really sit down and I think about that, the answer is a little bit yes. 

And I think that’s something I’m going to need to continue to process in therapy with my fantastic therapist. What about you, Nyge? Do you feel any differently? I mean, you’re you’re, you’re set. You’re married. (Laughs)

Nyge: I feel like, yeah, I just wish that I knew before getting into certain relationships that I should check in with my, with myself about how I felt regarding, like, different things. (Dom: Yeah.) And how, like, I wanted to explain certain things. I like, I just wasn’t prepared. And so, like having these conversations, having certain conversations on the fly, I don’t know. It’s funny. Like your race or your, like, ethnicity and everything is something so close and like intimate that how you portray it to other people who aren’t of the same race as you is really important. And if you don’t do it correctly, like you’ll think about that nonstop moving forward. That’s something that I definitely like suffered from in interracial relationships where I was kind of just like, “Man, like I wish I like represented this or that or whatever better” or like I wish I didn’t laugh at certain jokes that I didn’t think were funny.

Dom: Yeah. Which is a lot of pressure. 

Nyge: Trying to get somebody to like you, but then also like standing firm in your belief system and everything like that and like your values is, is a difficult thing. It’s so easy to conform to certain things to like try to find love. And I think that put me in a lot of compromising situations. I wish I just would’ve took a like, a harder stance on it. 

Dom: At the same time, we’re all super malleable, so it’s about like how much we contort in that process. And when you add in the factor of race or ethnicity, you can find yourself contorting much more than you meant to in hindsight. And then in other situations, you can find someone that you thought you’d have to contort really hard in order to be with, is actually a relationship that you fit together really beautifully. So I guess it all just depends on you and that one other person at the end of the day. 


Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation. Our show is produced by Georgia Wright, Dominique French and by me, ya boy Nyge Turner.

Dom: Our engineer is James Reilly. 

Nyge: Our executive producer is Rebecca Martin.

Dom: Our Interns are Laly Vasques and Ichtaca Lira. Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza, and David Lawrence. Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler. 

Nyge: Art for this episode created by Brigido Bautista with these young people at YR: Ariam Michael and Jordan Ferguson. Art direction by Marjerrie Masicat. Creative direction by Pedro Vega, Jr.

Dom: Special thanks to Eli Arbreton.

Nyge: We are also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX, an independent listener-supported collective of some of the most amazing shows in all of podcasting. Find them at and if you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple Podcasts, please be sure to do so. Five stars is much appreciated.

Dom: You can follow us on all the socials @yradultish. And on that note, we’ll see y’all later. 

Nyge: Later.

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